Those Times Alone

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I have been traveling on business 9-10 months per year for the last 6 years. Schedules can be grueling, away from those you love, missing out on the day to day treasures of family life. Maybe like me you have continued to pray for Gods guidance and direction for a change in your situation. Gods purpose for our lives is for our good and His glory. I have come to the realization that sometimes that time alone is Gods way of strengthening our reliance on Him and shaping our character to His purpose. This short poem was placed in my heart to encourage Vilma and I and our familey , I hope you will be encouraged as well.

Those times alone
Drink it in
That sense
That self is lost
And does not matter

It is
The refining of the spirit
A place of treasured discovery

Open the windows of your soul
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A life lived well in Jesus Christ

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It is amazing to me not just occasionally but ongoing, how God opens doors in miraculous ways. In ways that clearly the credit or actions were not orchestrated by me, but God.

I have had the profound opportunity to meet Mr Ziglar at our home church, Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano Texas. He is among numerous men and woman that have and continue to bless and encourage Vilma and I. I was given an opportunity to express my appreciation for Zig Ziglar along with numerous others whose lives he has, and continues to encourage.

I wanted to post this in hopes that it may inspire you to encourage those around you that have helped you along life’s path.

A life lived well in Jesus Christ

To Mr. Zig Ziglar,

My first real job was in Houston Texas in 1979 with The Oil well Division of US Steel. I remember being asked by the warehouse manager, if I would be interested in working in sales. I was a part of a 3 month management training program for new hires and it required working in the warehouse to learn the equipment. I was 22 and had recently moved my family from Dallas to Houston literally over the phone. My comment was not very well thought out “Well, if its, more money I would be interested but I have never worked in sales”. The only thing he said was “The sales manager would like to see you in his office”. I sat down in Mr Potts office and he mentioned several things about my hard work, being personable, etc and asked if I would consider an inside sale position. I new nothing about sales and had never worked in sales at all. I went on to work for more than 25 years as a professional salesman. It’s amazing to me how God opens doors to our future in Him, often times in spite of our unwillingness or how unprepared we may be. I did not know who Zig Ziglar was or even what you did yet your life experiences would impact mine not only then but more importantly those days ahead.
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The Prayers of my Father

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It was a way of life to hear my Dads voice in prayer, at home, at church, even in the car. I remember as a little boy seeing my Dad kneeling in prayer by the bed at night. I would come in the room and sit on the floor next to him as he wrapped his arms around me while praying. Simple yet powerful lessons of faith, that encourages, and strengthens me even now.

Growing up I would watch my Dad on Sundays, every Sunday at church, in worship. Hands raised in song or prayer often times with tears of joy and thanksgiving. Now at 55 looking back I am moved and encouraged by what then seemed to be just how life was lived. I have come to understand and appreciate his commitment even more. An intentional commitment, to a way of life, a life lived well in Jesus Christ

There were times during my high school years, walking down the hallway at home towards my room; I would hear my dad praying, out loud, and for me. That can be confronting for a young man who has just returned home from being with friends doing what teenagers do. Stepping out on my own, and often times in a direction new to me, filled with excitement and new opportunities. It is in those times that the prayers of family will make the difference.
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Broken

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1: violently separated into parts: shattered

2: damaged or altered by breaking: as a: having undergone or been subjected to fracture: being irregular, interrupted, or full of obstacles c: violated by transgression disrupted by change.

3: made weak or infirm b: subdued completely: crushed, sorrowful

5: not complete or full.

6: disunited, separation, or desertion

These, are those things, events, and challenges that find their way into or days, an often times an unwelcome part of life. Brokenness: shattered, damaged, fractured, full of obstacles, disconnected, words that do not suggest or bring comfort. Unexpectedly, a place of dramatic change and turmoil and often times if harnessed for our good, Gods glory, and exponential spiritual growth.

After receiving a phone call in which all of my fears, my hurts, all I had worked for, planned for, set my dreams on came to an end, BROKENESS. All of me, who, and what I had made my self ,to be, lost. I hung up the phone and tears held back overwhelmed my spirit an uncontrollable flood of emotion. Words could not escape; breathing became difficult, my mind could think of nothing, a total collapse of all I called self.
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A Late Night Prayer

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Oh Lord let my spirit find in The
A place to worship and in your presence be
Let me release those things held back in me
To no longer keep but trust and give to The
That which You promised in my soul to keep
A longing for Your presence my soul does leap
I prayerfully ask that Your Spirit be
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Trouper

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Several months ago while traveling on business I met a pastor who although retired was shepherding a small church in a rural area. Our conversation began while I was inspecting the damage done to his home from a recent storm. As we walked around his property I noticed a small dog on the patio deck. As we went through the gate and into the back yard this well groomed well mannered dog came bounding down the steps of the wood deck.

He came and sat in front of me, anxiously anticipating acknowledgment. Our dogs are not so well mannered, like most dogs they are jump, jump, jumping for attention. This pup was different, a seemingly calm knowingness and acceptance of what was to come. I was compelled to gently speak to him and bend down on one knee to pet him. That’s when I noticed it.
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The SPARROW at STARBUCKS

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We received this true story from a life long friend of our family. I am not sure who the original author is, it encouraged us, I hope it will encourage you.

The song that silenced the cappuccino machine;
It was chilly in Manhattan but warm inside the Starbucks shop on 51st Street and Broadway, just a skip up from Times Square. Early November weather in New York City holds only the slightest hint of the bitter chill of late December and January, but it’s enough to send the masses crowding indoors to vie for available space and warmth. For a musician, it’s the most lucrative Starbucks location in the world, I’m told, and consequently, the tips can be substantial if you play your tunes right.

Apparently, we were striking all the right chords that night, because our basket was almost overflowing. It was a fun, low-pressure gig – I was playing keyboard and singing backup for my friend who also added rhythm with an arsenal of percussion instruments. We mostly did pop songs from the ’40s to the ’90s with a few original tunes thrown in. During our emotional rendition of the classic, “If You Don’t Know Me by Now,” I noticed a lady sitting in one of the lounge chairs across from me. She was swaying to the beat and singing along.
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The Power of Kindness

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This was sent to me and others on my team recently. Service, contribution and the setting aside of self seems to be that ongoing prompting of the Holy Spirit in mine and Vilmas heart. I was blessed and encouraged by this true event, I hope this will encourage you to look for and act on those unexpected opportunity’s, divine appointments, that show up in our every day lives.

The Power of Kindness

Charles Plumb was a U.S. Navy jet pilot in Vietnam. After 75 combat missions, his plane was destroyed by a surface-to-air missile. Plumb ejected and parachuted into enemy hands. He was captured and spent six years in a communist Vietnamese prison. He survived the ordeal and now lectures on lessons learned from that experience!

One day, when Plumb and his wife were sitting in a restaurant, a man at another table came up and said, “You’re Plumb! You flew jet fighters in Vietnam from the aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk. You were shot down!
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The Human Spirit That’s The Challenge.

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Every living thing and everyone is on there way to somewhere. Our daily routines, what we attach to our limited time, the things that are our priorities. What matters, what doesn’t, how to choose. In my twenties it was how do I begin to build a life. In my thirties growing what I had begun, in my forties maintaining what was established. In my fifties have I done enough? What was ounce important is now being redefined evaluated for clarity of purpose.

A look back provides a view of my path and the winding and often broken road my steps have followed.  Often blessed with understanding, and clear direction, and regretfully times of wondering off the path. Sometimes out into the desert, wondering aimlessly on my own insisting I knew the way. What seemed to be an oasis suddenly vanishes and was only a mirage. Maybe you have been there too.
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Devine Appointments Miraculous Interventions

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I was talking with a friend of mine one evening by phone and suddenly the words I was saying became jumbled and made no sense. I could think the words in my mind, what came out of my mouth were if the letters had been shuffled and made no sense. My friend said ‘Dwight if you kidding around stop it you are scaring me”. I was afraid myself, I finally was able to slowly say “something’s wrong”. I would attempt to say something and it would come out as if misspelled. I would go from saying nothing to slowly attempting to say simple words or sentences. Somewhat like the effects of autism.

Amazingly after approximately 20 minutes of uncertainty, awkward attempts at saying simple words or sentences, it went away. I finally said a real sentence “I think I am ok”.
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